Tag Archives: Hope Edelman

Bestselling Author Hope Edelman “The Possibility of Everything” to give away book today

Bestselling author Hope Edelman, author of The Possibility of Everything, will be at Pump Up Your Book on Monday, December 14, taking your questions and comments. Leave a question or a comment, along with your email address (very important), in the comment section anytime between now and 11 p.m and you could win a free copy of her book!

The Possibility of Everything Trailer
The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Find out all about writing bestselling novels from one of the most talented authors!

Click here to enter now!

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We Were the World (for an afternoon) by Hope Edelman

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

We Were the World (for an afternoon)
by Hope Edelman

My most memorable Christmas took place nine years ago in the tropics, in the town of San Ignacio, Belize. I was there with my husband and three-year-old daughter, in the middle of a family journey that’s recounted in full in my recent memoir, The Possibility of Everything.

We were in Central America to seek out help from Maya healers to address our daughter’s behavioral issues, but by the end of the trip I discovered we’d gone there for much more. When a child acts out in a family it’s often a systemic problem, but I didn’t yet realize this on that Christmas Day.  On Christmas, we were mostly preoccupied with keeping a low profile to let the locals enjoy their holiday.

I grew up Jewish in suburban New York, in a family that celebrated Hanukkah religiously and Christmas culturally. We lit candles in the menorah for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, and some years we set up a tabletop, Charlie-Brown-Christmas tree laden with shiny, walnut-sized ornamental balls. We spent nearly every Christmas day eating chow mein and seeing G-rated movies, since Chinese restaurants and movie theaters were the only establishments open on that day.

If you like this story, click on cover to purchase an even better story by Hope Edelman!

This was New York, where citizens of every possible ethnicity and religion lived side by side but rarely ever mixed. To me, this never felt right. Every year on Christmas Day, the boundaries between groups shifted when the Christians separated from the non-Christians in an obvious, visible manner. Those at home around the tree with family were part of one group, and those drinking wonton soup and eating Junior Mints in darkened theaters constituted another: the Jews, the Buddhists, the Muslims. The town reconfigured and cleaved into a new Us and Them for the day. And no matter how many Christmases passed, this temporary distinction never felt right, either.

Spending Christmas Day as a tourist in a devoutly Catholic country raised a very different set of issues. One of which was trying not to interrupt or disturb any of the residents’ celebrations. Another was finding a place to eat in the middle of the day in a town shuttered tightly from end to end.

We’d been told that a Sri Lankan restaurant in the heart of San Ignacio would be open, so we canoed down the Macal River and made our way up a gentle hill into town. The wood-paneled dining room was crammed with American and European tourists. Christmas lights wound their way around a central pillar. A portrait of Princess Diana hung in a far corner, above a female customer wearing a yellow L.A. Lakers cap, and a smaller painting of Jesus gazed at us from above a backyard exit door.

When my husband took our daughter outside to wash her hands, the waiter served me a cold bottle of Belikin beer. It occurred to me that not only was this Christmas, but it was also the fifth night of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. In the story of Hanukkah, the oil lamp at the Holy Temple of Jerusalem burned for eight days when it should have lasted only for one, a miracle in its own time. I thought about this as I sat in the land of the Maya, with Jesus hanging above me, waiting for a plate of chicken curry to arrive. What would it take to experience a present-day miracle? Were they taking place around us all the time? Would I recognize one if it occurred?

The woman in the Lakers cap stopped by my table to introduce herself on her way out. She’d heard us talking about California, and wanted to know if we were from L.A., which we were. So was she. She gave me her business card before leaving: Robin Goldstein, Advantage Casting.

“Merry Christmas,” she said.

“Merry Christmas,” I waved.

And there you have it, I thought. Two Jewish women from Los Angeles wishing each other Merry Christmas on the fifth night of Hanukkah in a Sri Lankan restaurant in Western Belize. If the stereo system had suddenly burst into action with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder leading a rousing rendition of “We Are the World”? I would have believed it.

An eclectic afternoon? Yes. A confusing one? A little bit. But also, just possibly, a modern-day traveler’s miracle of its own.

Hope Edelman recently published her fifth nonfiction book, the memoir The Possibility of Everything. She lives outside Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.  You can visit her website at www.thepossibilityofeverything.com.

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